We started the class with a general group discussion about our first week of practicing meditation .. did everyone find time to practice? which meditation techniques did everyone use? .. last week we introduced a The 9 Round Breathing Exercise and a longer more leisurely Body Awareness meditation .. what was their experience? What might have been some of the common challenges? Did anyone find or set up a sacred space that might have for their ongoing meditation practice? ..
The most common challenge is simply remembering to meditate!
I believe the most important motivator in continuing to meditate - is to understanding why we have chosen to learn/start/practice meditation. Part of last weeks Om-work was to reflect and write down our personal reason for learning to meditate at this time.
Knowing our 'why' will provide us with the single most powerful motivator we can have, and is often the key to making our meditation a regular practice..
As we take our seat and allow our body to 'let go' we have a moment (that I call the grace period) where we place ourselves at the ready (mind and body) and gather our focus. This is when we can remind ourselves of our motivation for practice ..
"I take this time to meditate, to find calmness, to touch the stillness and quiet within, to find balance in my life".
This gives our meditation a crisp, clear starting point - and a deep and personal reason for practicing.
In Week 2 we also looked at our attitude, the nature of meditation being effortlessness, and the Buddhist approach of 'beginners mind' .. having a fascination and openness to our practice "hmm what will my meditation be like today?". We added another Meditative Exercise to our toolkit called The 4-7-8 Breath and spoke further about how we might remember to practice over the coming week (finding some triggers).
I then introduced a longer meditation practice based on awareness of the breath. The breath is a wonderful anchor for our attention because it is so convenient .. we have no difficulty finding it, it's completely natural, we have it with us always and we don't need to 'do' or bring anything to meditate. Shifting our focus inward is as easy as watching our breath and last night we practiced a Zen Breath Counting Meditation. A simple - yet challenging - mindfulness of the breath and counting practice.
Already some participants are finding personal benefits from their practice .. little by little we continue to sit and breathe and remain open ..
If you would like to join our next Exploring Meditation (4 week) course starting 6th October 2015 CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE